The Unity Candle
Perhaps you been at a wedding and observed a ‘Ceremony within a Ceremony’! The Sand Ceremony, the Wine Ceremony, the Blessing of the Hands, or perhaps the Lighting on the Unity Candle. Each of these provide a unique, colourful and picturous ceremonies add an element of flair, and become a memory to themselves. Of course the Photo-Op is pretty good too.
The Unity Candle Ceremony has been shared by couples for many years, but still is one of the most popular ways of remembering your special day. When the bride and groom light the Unity Candle, this symbolizes the new union of a two , two individuals in love, who are becoming one entity by the ceremony of marriage.
A unity candle is actually a set of candles: a large single candle in the center, with two slim taper candles on either side. The two taper candles on the sides need to be lit just before or at the beginning of the formal wedding ceremony. The unity candle is often placed off to the side of the area where the wedding ceremony will be performed, perhaps on a side table to the right of the couple, or on the same table as the signing of the marriage license. At the right time, your officiant will invite you as a couple to each take a lighted taper, and together will light the big center candle, symbolizing their unity and commitment to each other.
Of course, the symbolizes also allows for each single candle to remain lit, underscoring the individuality of two unique people being who they are as singles, but now joined together as one.
Here are some tips to help you with the planning of your Unity Candle Ceremony:
Prior to the ceremony:
The unity candle area is set up. It is often a good idea to light the wicks ahead of time then blow them out. A pre-burned wick is easier to light (many couples have been in the middle of their ceremony and couldn’t get the wick to light!)
Lighting the tapers:
There are many different variations on lighting the side tapers.
Some couples have them already burning before the ceremony starts, to symbolize the bride and the groom as individuals. You may choose to have the mothers of the couple each light one candle with special music playing in the background. If the couple are bringing children into the marriage, you can opt to have the children light the tapers.
Lighting the center candle:
The couple will move to the area where the Unity Candle is displayed. Each will take a taper, and together they will light the large center candle. Some couples do choose to blow out their tapers, to symbolize their commitment to each other and as a show of their unity. Other couples will leave their tapers lit, to symbolize that they are still individuals even though they have been united in marriage. No matter if you plan to keep your tapers lit or not, the choice is totally up to you.
Hint: If you’re wedding is early evening or night, why not dim the lights at this point! Great Effect – Great Photo Op!
Don’t forget to have your photographer ready, along with an invite to your guests for their personal photos!